Winds by any Other Name Would Blow as Hard

The media are up to their old tricks. There just was a report of a line of high winds (labeled a “derecho”) accompanying the movement of a warm front northward over the Midwest on Monday afternoon past (June 13, 2022).  

Peak gusts reached 98 mph in Fort Wayne, Indiana and 84 mph at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport according to Fox News/Weather. As the system swung into Indiana and Ohio, winds toppled power lines and trees and blew over a semi-tractor-trailer. Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported.   

The intention here is not to minimize the seriousness of straight-line windstorms, but put them into perspective, along with other types of less common weather events. They are not unprecedented, as is otherwise often suggested by a sometimes less than candid news media.  

The weather mavens at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) and major news outlets have adopted the practice of changing common weather-related nomenclature to suit their purposes, particularly as applied to major tropical storms. The change-over process with hurricanes happened over the course of the past several decades, but managed to slip by little noticed in the public eye. 

The weather establishment was never satisfied with naming summer hurricanes, done

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